Jesus Rebukes an Evil Spirit


I must admit that my “continuous commentary” has not been very continuous. It is not because this is a burden to me or that I don’t want to do it – I just have so much going on right now that it is a little tough to find the time to write. So to the constant few who visit this site, I apologize for leaving you hanging.

The Request of a Father

In Luke 9.37-45, we come upon an account of that takes place the day after Jesus and his three disciples come down off of the mountain. Luke, ever close to the details, is sure to include this bit of information; he ensures his audience knows just exactly when this account occured. He is met by a large crowd of people and in the midst of this crowd is a father who has a demon-possesed son. But there is an interesting detail in his his story. You see, he has already approached the disciples of Jesus to see if they could cure his son. However, they cannot.

The Rebuke of the Faithless

Jesus explains why his disciples could not do it in verse 41: someone was not believing the disciples could do it. Now just who did not believe is what we need to figure out. Was it the disciples? Were they the unbelievers and perverse generation? Possibly, since so many times in the past they have been characterized by their lack of faith. However, they were not perverse men nor did the constitute a who “generation.” I also do not think the father is who Jesus has in mind here; he appears to be honest and sincere, coming to Jesus in belief, albeit an imperfect faith (cf. Mark 9.24). So when Jesus says this, it appears he has the who generation of his time who had an attitude of unbelief toward the disciples and Jesus and perhaps had feelings of want to “stump” Jesus and his disciples, hence they are perverse in this regard as well. Jesus, though, ever the loving shepherd, is concerned for the lost sheep of Israel and this is seen in his words, “how long…?” How long, O Israel, will you remain in your faithless and perverse state?

While Jesus does rebuke the demon and heals this boy, it is unfair to say that the demons, like Israel, were unbleievers; after all James, the half-brother of Jesus, says they “believe and shudder.” So they know what’s what. But they, along with the faithless of Israel, are rebuked as well, albeit for a different reason. The people see Jesus do this and they marvel, a common theme and reaction in Luke.

The Riddle from the Faithful One

Following this, Jesus proceeds to perplex his disciples by telling them that he (the Son of Man) must be betrayed by men. Luke tells us the disciples did not understand it, it was hidden from them, and they could not grasp its meaning. In addition to this, the disciples are afraid to ask Jesus what the meaning of it is. Perhaps out of embarrasment, perhaps from fear of being rebuked, whatever the reason, the disciples keep their mouth shut about not catching what Jesus is throwing their way.

In the grand picture, We see Jesus reiterating, in case anyone missed it, that he is indeed the Son of Man. He has authority over demons, proving he is the Christ. This comes on the heels of the divine voice confirming this fact on the mountain to the disciples. Now, everyone knows it so it is time to put away unbelief and perversion and put on belief and righteousness. Indeed, let us line ourselves up with Jesus and never be found guilty of perverting the faith in anyway. And let us strive to keep the faith, falling deeper and deeper in love with our Master and Savior.